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On Leadership: Ted Leonsis talks Caps

Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis participated in The Post's On Leadership series to talk about why he believed D.C. could be a hockey town, what it's like to own two of the city's most "public" private companies and the importance of transparency. Watch below:

On the team's recent success leading to selling more tickets: "What it's allowed us to do, frankly, now, is only focus on one thing, and that's this generational excellence and win the Stanley Cup."

On owning sports teams vs. owning other companies: "Sports teams are private. I'm the majority owner of my teams; they're not public, yet they're the most public of companies. It's really the fan base's team, not mine. And they're activists."

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 7, 2010; 2:33 PM ET
Categories:  Ted Leonsis  
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Next: Video: Ovechkin shoots...and scores! But how?

Comments

blah. nobody has a right to write a leadership book.......

Posted by: CF11555 | October 7, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Late (re)post from last thread:

I think Grubauer is the goalie of the future!

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 7, 2010 2:14 PM

@richmondphil2:

Maybe he is, and maybe he ain't.


I watched him play during the Rookie Game vs. PHI last month. He seemed to have very sound positioning, good reflexes and good focus. Most impressive was the way he seemed to pick up shots even through heavy traffic, instantly square up, and get a glove on them.

So, ignoring the context of the Caps' goaltending situation this season, Grubauer could and probably should be considered a (not "the") goalie of the future...if not for the Caps then at least somewhere in the NHL. Kid does have some skills.

Bottom line: If junge Herr Grubauer does turn out to be Zilla 2.0, I hope he does so while Rockin' the Red.


Posted by: Rhino40 | October 7, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

So let me see lets make the fans happy by fixing things ......... thats what the man said.

I fail to see how have some walk up and down between the aisles sell beer while there is a game on makes me a STH happy. Haven't they just spent the last 2 years teaching the ban wagon fans "STOP PUCK IN PLAY"

Someone explain to me what I missed.

Shout out to SECTION 115

DROP THE PUCK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: bqts | October 7, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Write the book after you have won something of meaning..."Ted:My Life- How to Lead Choking Dogs."

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 7, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Late (re)post from last thread:

I think Grubauer is the goalie of the future!

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 7, 2010 2:14 PM

@richmondphil2:

Maybe he is, and maybe he ain't.


I watched him play during the Rookie Game vs. PHI last month. He seemed to have very sound positioning, good reflexes and good focus. Most impressive was the way he seemed to pick up shots even through heavy traffic, instantly square up, and get a glove on them.

So, ignoring the context of the Caps' goaltending situation this season, Grubauer could and probably should be considered a (not "the") goalie of the future...if not for the Caps then at least somewhere in the NHL. Kid does have some skills.

Bottom line: If junge Herr Grubauer does turn out to be Zilla 2.0, I hope he does so while Rockin' the Red.


Posted by: Rhino40 | October 7, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

blah. nobody has a right to write a leadership book.......

Posted by: CF11555 | October 7, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse
-----------------------------------------
Tell that to Rudi Guliani. Great leader, great book. 9/11 would've been much different w/o his leadership in NY

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 7, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Lyle - pretty sure Ted's won at a lot of things in life. He just hasn't won a world championship YET.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 7, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Before I read the article, I could have sworn I accidentally clicked a link that took me to an advertisement/video clip for some sort of new Super Mario for the Wii. Strange huh? Wonder why I thought that...hmm.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 7, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

WaPo is getting very obnoxious with all the stupid advertisement clips in front of their videos. It is very frustrating to sit through a 30 second commercial about a car I can't afford to watch some small clip that they didn't even produce.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 7, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

@ablake

on your rant about Neuvy needing more time growing into his role to lead the big club. What exactly has Varly done? How has he grown into his role? Has he led the big club to anything? You could argue that he needs more time in Hershey by your argument. Sorry I just completely disagree with your mindset on that.

Posted by: ThePat | October 7, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Tell that to Rudi Guliani. Great leader, great book. 9/11 would've been much different w/o his leadership in NY

Posted by: pokerfaceI208
"Rudy has used the horrible events of September 11 to create a persona that is an elaborate fabrication," says IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. "He is nothing more than a shameless self-promoter."

sounds like GM

but seriously, i heard the FDNY and their union was pretty ticked off at a bunch of his policies both prior to and post-911. And that they think he used his 9/11 persona to shamelessly further his career. But I can agree that he at least was able to hold together the city in a time of crisis and emerged as the face of that unity. Even if the behind-the-scenes story was a bit different.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 7, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Bears defenseman Lawrence Nycholat has played against Souray in the NHL.

“He’s an imposing figure on the ice,” Nycholat said. “Even at the NHL level, it seems like he’s just bigger than everyone else. He’s an NHL all-star for a reason. He’s a great player and he’s got a lot of things he uses very well, like his size and his skating and his shot. It’s well-documented where he’s breaking panes of glass and winning NHL All-Star Game competitions. To go from playing against a guy like that, and getting spot duty against him and kind of noticing how imposing he is, to having him on your team is exciting.

“I’m sure that he’s probably not happy with the way things ended up in Edmonton for him. I think he probably looks at this as like a chance to get back to the NHL and get back to where he wants to be.”

Bears winger Brian Willsie also played against Souray in the NHL.

“I played against him quite a bit,” Willsie said. “He’s known first and foremost for his shot. He’s got a heavy shot. He plays bigger than his size even. He’s a tall, solid guy. He’s pretty intimidating.

“You don’t know what to expect from him. I think he really wants to get back to the NHL, and this is the road it’s taking him. It’s exciting for us that a player of his caliber is going to join us.”

Souray’s addition will increase Hershey’s roster veteran total to six. AHL clubs are allowed to dress five for games, so it could result in some lineup gymnastics.

Hershey practiced with eight healthy defensemen Thursday. Souray will bring the total to nine, which could result in a defenseman getting reassigned to South Carolina (ECHL).

“I think it’s logical to assume that there potentially would be one [reassignment],” French said. “Until Sheldon is actually here, I don’t think we’ll make any rash decisions. We’ll read some of the variables — his conditioning level and when he thinks he can get into the lineup and things of that nature — before we make a final decision on that.”

Souray may also be able to have an impact as a tutor as well as a player.

“A three-time all-star who has played in the NHL is probably a resource for some of the other guys to use as an example of what it takes to get to that next level,” French said. “That’s one of the things he can certainly provide here.”
--------------------------------

hmm..."solid" "imposing" "all-star" "mentor" "intimidating"

why does he get such bad press again? oh right..he's a cancer or something.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 7, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

@pokerfaceI208 Well, I not saying Rudy handle the crisis badly only that I’m sure many other would've handle it better (or worse or that matter). Rudy just did what he was supposed or expected todo.

Posted by: guer_j | October 7, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Lyle - pretty sure Ted's won at a lot of things in life. He just hasn't won a world championship YET.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208


i just want to know where we are currently in the 5 year plan.

how's your head feel today poker?

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 7, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

"Give the young guys a chance to grow into the position instead of forcing the issue."

@ablake

After being drafted Neuvy played two more years in juniors. Then his first year in the pros he started in the ECHL(named ECHL all-star) and later played in the AHL. At the end of that year he led the Bears to an AHL championship while winning playoff MVP. Then he started last year being the full-time AHL goalie for the Bears, while winning another championship for them. During that year Neuvy played in 17 NHL games last and was decently successful.

So Neuvy showed success in the ECHL before being called up to the AHL. Then he played and showed great success in the AHL, and moderate success in a short stint in the NHL, before being called up full-time for the NHL.

The Caps are now intending to split Neuvy with Varly(so about 41 starts barring serious injury). There is no inention to make him a Ryan Miller like starter who plays almost 70 games.

Isn't that basically the definition of letting a guy grow into the position and not forcing him?

No one is guaranteeing he will be successful, but the kid has definitely earned a chance to play this year.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 7, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

this is funny....these poor euros, they all look like Semin. Cut from the same cloth - VELVET

Gleason looks as confused as Staal was.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1aBRggDCpQ&feature=player_embedded#!

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 7, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I was one of those hoping a deal could be made with a Toronto or Florida to obtain Souray after he was claimed on re-entry waivers. Well, apparently that isn't allowed by the CBA.
"13.20(b) A Player who has been acquired by Waiver claim shall not be Traded to another Club until the termination of Playoffs of the season in which he was acquired unless he is first offered on the same terms to the Club(s) that entered a claim when Waivers were requested originally and the offer has been refused."
My guess is the Oilers will keep him in Hershey until he is no longer welcome, or recall him after the trade deadline when he couldn't be used by the claiming team for the rest of the season.
It is unlikely he will ever wear a Caps jersey.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | October 7, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

why does it not surprise me that he was punching with the stick in his right hand? *shakes head*

those Russian's need to add basic fighting 101 to their training programs... just to at least not make them look like 9 year olds on the playground, oiy!

good find cstanton!

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 7, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

i do give him credit for at least coming to his teammate's aid unlike some of his velvet counterparts.

Two canes players gave his teammate a spear and a bump. So its nice to see him come in there and at least give it a try. But he was in over his head and yeah he's gotta drop that stick when he punches.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 7, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

It's too bad about that no-trade rule on reentry waivers. But how many teams are likely to have enough cap room to bring Souray on-board? And how many of those teams need help on d? Maybe if things break the Caps way they could sign him. And maybe there are creative strategies that we haven't thought of yet. I think he would be a good addition.

Posted by: zmega | October 7, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

OMG OMG OMG OMG...is it Saturday yet? Rocket Bar + Caps + No work the next day = FUN FUN FUN

Btw, the Food Truck (Curbside Kick-Off or whatever its called) get together thing near Gallery Place today and tomorrow...totally awesome and the Empanada Truck...AMAZING. If you can sneak out of work I highly reccomend it...like 10-12 different food trucks to choose from. Think they running from 11am-9pm or something.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 7, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7denUyf3uw&feature=related

i always liked this. Staal is a real gentleman. Thank god it wasn't Avery being asked his opinion. I just read Avery's interview in an old Maxim and he was pretty brutal towards quite a lot of other hockey players. I guess he doesn't like Shane Doan, Andy McDonald, or Kirk Maltby very much.

http://jesgolbez.blogspot.com/2006/08/sean-avery-hell-on-ice.html

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 7, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

It's too bad about that no-trade rule on reentry waivers. But how many teams are likely to have enough cap room to bring Souray on-board? And how many of those teams need help on d? Maybe if things break the Caps way they could sign him. And maybe there are creative strategies that we haven't thought of yet. I think he would be a good addition.

Posted by: zmega |
----
over half the teams in the NHL have more than 3.5mil in caps space available right now... and that just means that they could easily afford a player like Souray later on at 2.7 on re-entry waivers.

http://www.capgeek.com/

caps are 16 out of 30 in space available.

and I'm sure alot of those teams could use a 2.7 mil former 20G big D... if even for part of a season.

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 7, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

its odd that 99% of the talk around Souray by most fans revolve around his booming slapshot. No mention of the fact that for regular non-enforcer type hockey players, he's probably one of the toughest if not the toughest hockey player in the NHL. That's more than just a little caveat to be tossed in as a bonus. I think a lot of fans look at him as an offensive dman with a big shot. And that's the extent of it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 7, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm not so sure Frank. A lot of those teams with cap space are either small market teams that may not want to take on a lot of contract obligation or rebuilding teams that want to give young guys ice time to develop. And I think there is no guarantee that Souray would only be a part-of-a-season obligation. There is no assurance that he could be traded next year, especially without taking on a similar sized contract.

Or maybe I'm just grasping at straws and in denial about our big, physical, veteran defenseman for the next few years being Tom Poti.

Posted by: zmega | October 7, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

touche mike green

Green -- like many of his teammates -- is subtly changing the message, again via NBC Washington:

"You need to prepare yourself to play the way you're gonna play in the playoffs all season," he said. "I think at times maybe we were winning hockey games, but we were kind of a little bit sloppy. And that's our fault as players, because we're the ones that are out there, we're responsible for ourselves. But if everyone can buy in here quick and become a consistent team on a nightly basis and play our way whether we win or lose, I think that's more important than being a run-and-gun kind of team."

-------

that is verbatim to the griping that went on the last 2 yrs. That the Caps were winning games despite being sloppy and that it would catch upto them. And that run-n-gun doesn't win Cups. And the response from the peanut gallery was "oh you guys don't know anything, we've got the best record, no other team stands a chance against this offensive juggernaut, if we were playing sloppy we wouldn't be winning all these games". Even Bruce bought into that nonsense.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 7, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

@zmega:

I'm sure internal budgets would play a part in his acquisition as some lower-cap teams have them.

But of the 16 teams in the NHL that *could* afford him on reentry for this AND next season. I would imagine someone would pick Souray up...

I could be wrong but it's not like he's um, er, Wade Redden :-O DOH!

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 7, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Or maybe I'm just grasping at straws and in denial about our big, physical, veteran defenseman for the next few years being Tom Poti.
-----------

Poti is the perfect type of McPhee veteran. He's calm. Not fiery. Doesn't take PIMs. Can move the puck (unless he's under duress). He flies below radar and he fits right in because of that.
You get a veteran like Souray in here and I doubt very much he'd be allowed to go a little berserk like he's been known to do when a teammate gets flattened or his goalie gets encroached. Another reason I don't see this team picking up an agitator type (and please no one say Chimera!). You think this team is prepared for a guy who raises a ruckus on the ice? Esp if he's not a front-line player who tend to get away with a bit more?

Look at a guy like Erskine who was much more aggressive when he played in the juniors and in Dallas. Now he's lobotomized. Just kinda walks the halls and gives a glare here n there. His actual physical presence has been heavily diluted under this regime. I expect DJK to suffer a similar fate.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 7, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Canucks trade for exCaps 2002 top pick Nathan Paetsch.

That 2002 draft class ended up being terrible, top to bottom one of the worst draft yrs in recent memory. The only player I was hoping we'd take a gander on was drafting Tootoo in the 3rd.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 7, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

oops, '01 draft for Paetsch. Although, both 01 and 02 draft yrs were very lean.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 7, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

The only that would be worse than McPhee patting himself on the back for drafting well would be if he did the same thing and it wasn't true.

I remember reading something not too long ago about how the Caps were one of the worst in the league at drafting in the 2nd round and beyond. That thing I was reading wasn't a cstanton post, either. It was something that broke down drafting over the past decade (from the point that the article was written) and showed games played by draftees per round. I believe the Caps were in the bottom 5 or worse in the post-1st rounds.

And as far as the 1st rounds, I believe that piece also pointed out that the Caps had more 1st round picks over the timeframe of their study than any other team in the NHL. Given that fact, it diminishes what McPhee and his scouts accomplished. They should've done better than other teams in the 1st round given their larger volume of picks. I'm not sure that they even did that well in the 1st round considering that volume.

Also, almost every team in the league probably has a very similar draft board for the 1st round and into the 2nd. It doesn't take a whole lot of brilliance and vision to make those picks.

So, not only did McPhee make a fool of himself again by bragging about something that he was involved in. He was actually bragging about something that was completely untrue. Overall, the Caps have not been a good drafting team. They've been worse than average.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 7, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

1 hour.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 7, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Am I correct that the Capitals would be last to pick from the waiver wire because they had the highest point total in the regular season last year?
How does that change after November 1st?

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | October 7, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

And as far as the 1st rounds, I believe that piece also pointed out that the Caps had more 1st round picks over the timeframe of their study than any other team in the NHL

Also, almost every team in the league probably has a very similar draft board for the 1st round and into the 2nd. It doesn't take a whole lot of brilliance and vision to make those picks.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 7, 2010 5:58 PM

who aquired so many first round draft picks in the first place? since 1st rounders seem to see more ice time in the NHL - i would think it makes sense to have as many of those as you can. when you do have so many 1st picks - the chances of later round picks making the team is diminished. i don't see this as a negative.

gmgm is far from the greatest gm in the history of the nhl (or even the current gms) - but he has been adequate in building the current team.

do the caps need a few more pieces to increase their odds for the cup? sure they do - every team does.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 7, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

By the way, if anybody knows that article that I'm referring to and knows where to find it, please do post the link. I came across it a little over a year ago and tried to google for it once time a few months ago but couldn't seem to find the right keywords.

Again, it broke down a bunch of years of the draft (I believe a decade) and showed the total games played for draftees in each round for each team. The articles is probably a year or two old now.

Also, I saw somebody mention a couple of days ago that McPhee had an awesome draft this year, citing Kuznetsov (sp?). How could anybody possibly judge a draft that took place just a few months ago. It takes at least a few years before you can make that kind of assessment.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 7, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Roenick thinks that it's the Shark's year to win the cup. I hope he's wrong.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 7, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Any team can tank, trade away players and suck and acquire high picks.

Any team can pick well in the 1st round over time.

The difference in number of picks he had was also fairly minimal, not enough to justify being one of the worst in the league at producing NHL talent in the later rounds.

The games played were also whether it was with the drafting organization or another.

McPhee and his scount dept have been bad at drafting overall. I don't even believe that their 1st round efforts have been anything special, particularly considering the relative volume that they were working with.

McPhee and Co. have drafted relatively poorly, overall.

McPhee has been lousy overall on the trade front.

McPhee has been lousy overall in free agency.

All added up, McPhee has been lousy.

If he's not on the hot seat, Leonsis is a failure, too.

This should be a pivotal season in his tenure as our GM and he started it off by doing absolutely nothing of significance in terms of bringing in outside help.

If the Caps make a deep run, good for us and good for McPhee.

If not, he better be gone or Leonsis is clueless, too.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 7, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

yawn.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 7, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Key year for the Sharks to keep showing some forward progress. I was leaning towards them as well. But really, you need to see the current version of a team play at least 20-25 games to gauge how playoff-ready they really are.


---------------------
gmgm is far from the greatest gm in the history of the nhl (or even the current gms) - but he has been adequate in building the current team.

do the caps need a few more pieces to increase their odds for the cup? sure they do - every team does.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_A
---------------------------

He's been downright awful in some areas and very good in others. So I guess overall he's "adequate". Is that enough to build a dynasty? i think not. And while all teams may need some more pieces, how many of them also may have to tweak their systems to play 'the right way' ? That's a big obstacle for the Caps.

But I agree with you that you can't take the credit away from McPhee for acquiring those add'l first round picks. But you also have to understand that if other teams had screwed up as much as we had, they'd also be in sell-mode and have acquired some more 1st rounders as well. Part of the numerous 1st rounders the Caps got were because they weren't a good team to begin with under McPhee and he was able to deal off veterans for picks. And part of it is credit to him for being able to actually make those deals.

My perception of him is he tends to gloss over his own mistakes that allowed him to get those picks in the first place.

and of course, the fact there's no correlation between how many home-grown picks you have and actually winning a Cup. He liked to throw that stat out there because it makes him look good. Ignoring that he had more 1st rounders in 05 and 06 and those were miserable teams.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 7, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

i don't believe anything gmgm tells the press - he is just not very forthcoming with info about anything.
so if he says: we got the guy we targeted (re: corvo) - i don't believe it
if he says: we're not interested in lil gus - no dice its just more 'smoke'
the only thing he says that really matters is to ted and bb - and i doubt we'll ever hear any details from any of the three.

when i read posts that harp on or praise what he has said to the press - it's just a bunch of BS (gmgm's comments that is) and doesn't seem to have any bearing on what kind of gm he really is - just my opinion on the subject

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 7, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Also, I saw somebody mention a couple of days ago that McPhee had an awesome draft this year, citing Kuznetsov (sp?). How could anybody possibly judge a draft that took place just a few months ago. It takes at least a few years before you can make that kind of assessment.

Posted by: tmac2yao

I'm not going to argue on Kuznetsov. From the little I know of him, I like him more than Galiev who looks like a typically soft player along the boards. In fact, he just stays away from high traffic areas and tries to rely on his shiftiness.

But in general, anytime we have a new draft there's a lot of buzz around our new draft picks. When Francois Bouchard got drafted I can't tell you how many fans had him penciled into the 2nd line as a surefire future NHLer. They took his Q numbers and just automatically projected that to the nhl. And of course, anyone who questioned that was a fool or a hater :)

If the Caps had done a better job of balancing their skill prospects with some decent power forward types, they could've shown an interest in Milan Lucic or Shawn Mathias or even a rugged dman like Mike Weber. Instead, they locked into FB's offensive #s and got a massive chubby. Ignoring of course that he lacked the explosiveness to be a power forward and he'd have to transition his Q league #s (which are always inflated in that league) to a more rigorous style in the NHL.


I'm not even bashing Bouchard. I think he made decent strides last yr. But he was a project pick imo from the beginning. Not a surefire NHLer. Lucic should've been on our radar because we needed a guy like that desperately. We already had 5 or 6 finesse wingers that we had drafted in the previous 3 drafts, we didn't need to add yet another one to the stable.

b a l a n c e

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 7, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

i don't believe anything gmgm tells the press - he is just not very forthcoming with info about anything.
--kirk


now that's utter ^^*#$. Because you know that he's forthcoming about making himself look good. When the Caps fail in FA, he'll come out and say its by design because apparently some yrs ago they made the decision not to go thru FA and rely instead on their own guys. So that isn't a case of him being tight-lipped. Because if he was simply about keeping things close to the vest, you'd see more of a balance between where he looks good sometimes and where he looks bad sometimes.

The only time he's ever looked bad was right after the Belanger fiasco and that was most likely due to the Caps scrambling around to figure out their next PR move for damage control.

But GM is very forthcoming about how lucky his team always is to get the player they are targeting. Whether by FA, trade, or draft. He doesn't keep quiet about that at all.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 7, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I think we're losing perspective here. Somehow, under GMGM's watch, a team widely rated in the top 3 in the NHL has been assembled. Let's not pretend we're living in Edmonton. Given the performance of the other pro teams in town, it should be illegal for anyone in DC to refer to GMGM as "lousy" or "awful."

I haven't read anyone here saying the team should be blown up. A lot of us think the team is only a couple pieces away from being well positioned for the playoffs (maybe 3 now with the Varlamov injury). Others might say 4 or so.

What is fair to criticize is whether GMGM can push the team across the finish line. The signals are mixed. There's been a lot of talk from within the team about making the PK more aggressive. Hendricks and King seem to be good additions. On the other hand, we still lack a proven 2C and solid vet d-man.

I say it's time to look forward to an entertaining season. We can judge as the year goes on whether the team's style of play is becoming better suited to successful playoff hockey and whether GMGM fills the holes that remain through trade. It is a time to be optimistic. Not naive, but hopeful.

Posted by: zmega | October 7, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

a little blast from da past

2005-06

"Sasha is a big, strong defenseman who we are excited to add to our group of young prospects," said Washington Capitals vice president and general manager, George McPhee in a statement. "His game has progressed nicely in two years at Cornell and we feel confident that he is ready to take his talents to the professional level."

ok, we all make mistakes. Although if you go back to the winners and losers right after that draft was over, the Caps were considered immediate losers by quite a few independent hockey blogs. None of which I was part of.

He also had a tough August.

8/8/05: Signed Miroslav Zalesak and Ben Clymer (one year, $662,500)

8/9/05: Signed Andrew Cassels (one year, $1.5 million) and Lawrence Nycholat

8/10/05: Signed Mathieu Biron (one year, $450,000) and Ivan Majesky (one year, $800,000)

8/11/05: Re-signed Jakub Cutta and Jared Aulin

8/12/05: Signed Jamie Heward (one year, $450,000) and Boyd Kane. Obtained Bryan Muir from Los Angeles

8/15/05: Re-signed Matt Pettinger (one year, $450,000)

8/16/05: Re-signed Jeff Halpern (one year, $1.2331 million), Brian Sutherby (one year, $647,900), Brendan Witt (one year, $1.672 million), Steve Eminger (one year, $945,630), Shaone Morrisonn ($668,800) and Maxime Ouellet

8/17/05: Signed Chris Bourque to an entry-level deal

8/18/05: Re-signed Dainius Zubrus (two years, $3.7 million) and J-F Fortin

8/18/05: Signed Matt Bradley (one year, $475,000)

8/23/05: Signed Petr Sykora

8/25/05: Signed Chris Clark (one year, $689,700) and David Steckel

8/30/05: Signed Bryan Muir (one year, $500,000)

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 7, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

I think we're losing perspective here. Somehow, under GMGM's watch, a team widely rated in the top 3 in the NHL has been assembled. Let's not pretend we're living in Edmonton. Given the performance of the other pro teams in town, it should be illegal for anyone in DC to refer to GMGM as "lousy" or "awful."

----------

hey Edm made it to the finals a few yrs ago and lost in 7 games!

but agreed, a lousy NHL GM was Phil Esposito. Maybe the 2 Mikes - Milbury and O'Connell. Actually Milbury drafted well, he just made horrible trades for the most part.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 7, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

The stiffs at Japers don't like when people say Philthy or Crysby. Can you believe that noise? That site sucks. It does have some good links though.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 7, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Deryk Engelland in for the Pens. Another guy we had in our org who we let go ala Hendricks. If he progresses like he has been every yr, he'll be a dependable tough 3rd pairing defensive dman in this league. He's beaten the odds already. He wasn't even considered an nhl prospect until last yr despite showing consistent improvement as a Hershey Bear. Never understood why we/they let him go.

I hope he dances tonight with one of the players he's had run-ins with in the AHL. Maybe Carcillo or Powe. Maybe Shelley even.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 7, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Engelland has made two strong, defensive plays that I've seen already.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 7, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I think Richards will score the first goal.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 7, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Bobrovsky is NHL-ready.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 7, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Tangradi with a monster shift. Couple takeaways/forced turnovers, big hit, drew a penalty.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 7, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

phil, why the #2 on your moniker? Did you forget your password or something?

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 7, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Engelland has made two strong, defensive plays that I've seen already.

Posted by: richmondphil2

arguably was one of Hershey's best players in their run in 2006-07. Had a defining moment that yr when he found the opportune time to go after JF Jacques (WBS) and beat the snot out of him for a series of big hits Jacques had laid on Hershey players that yr that contributed to some injuries. JF was public enemy # 1 and to see Engelland drag him out of a pile and knock him around in Hershey during the playoffs was just awesome. And he was a solid dman as well, not just a tough guy. Real character player and didn't look out of place when he got recalled last yr.

You can't see what led up to this moment but it was a really big thing for Hershey and their fans to finally see a Bear go after Jacques for all the big (sometimes dirty) hits he put on guys like Joey Tenute and Kyle Wilson. I was bummed when the Penguins signed him away.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdxINOFxjyc

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 7, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

another good Ray Shero move. Getting a big forward like Tangradi along with Kunitz in the Ryan Whitney trade.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 7, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Did people see this about Tangradi?

http://www.yardbarker.com/nhl/articles/what_are_they_doing_with_eric_tangradi/3367327

I guess they weren't going to use him if Asham could play. Interesting though. From the sounds of it he won't be on the Pens roster for very long(unless of course he plays awesome).

Posted by: sgm3 | October 7, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

@Lloyd

The email associated with my "richmondphil" handle was used by me and my ex-fiance. I no longer use/have access to that email, so I had to create a new one. *shrug... Women...

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 7, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Boy I tell ya what, if this kid in net for Philly (Bobrovski)is as good as he's been through the 1st 40+ minutes (just gave up a goal) it will change the whole dynamic of the Atlantic division. That has been Philly's achiles heal in the past. I know that got good tending in the playoffs last yr and there will be questions for him in his 1st playoff season but wow. Can't wait to play them!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 7, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I've said this before and I'll be as persistant as Cstanton in saying it. Pitt is absolutely gonna miss Gonchar more than people think. In the words of Keith Olberman "Guuuuh"! Brutal turnover there.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 7, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

freakin brooks orpik whines even more than crosby

Posted by: _stevo | October 7, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

@Lloyd

The email associated with my "richmondphil" handle was used by me and my ex-fiance. I no longer use/have access to that email, so I had to create a new one. *shrug... Women...

Posted by: richmondphil2

Gotcha. I was just curious. Didn't know if there was a copycat or what.

Women.....

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 7, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

I'll be curious to see how Atlanta plays tomorrow with the Blackhawks trades of Byfuglien, Sopel, Eager in the lineup.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 7, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Bobrovski is not NHL-ready. Yeah, he's made the saves, but the kid is just not ready. It's apparent by watching his lateral movements, how he handles a puck, etc, etc. He'll be brutalized in the NHL if he tries to go a whole season.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 7, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

physical step-up = Crosby isolated.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 7, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

So much for the Pens winning the first game played at their new arena...

Posted by: MReilly9 | October 7, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Hawks and Avs should be good. The Battle of PA was a good game too, as usual.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 7, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Just glad Crosby didn't score the first goal in the new building. We'd be hearing about that all month.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 7, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Bobrovski is not NHL-ready. Yeah, he's made the saves, but the kid is just not ready. It's apparent by watching his lateral movements, how he handles a puck, etc, etc. He'll be brutalized in the NHL if he tries to go a whole season.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 7, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse
-----------------------------------------
Sorry bout the ex bro. If I remember you correctly I thought you guys were pretty close to getting married. Best of luck to ya.

As far as Bobrovsky is concerned he looked pretty sharp to me tonight. Doc Emrick said that he was sharp in the preseason as well which is why he won the job. I like to think that I'm an "ok" evaluater of tenders but I've never played in net so I tend to not be as passionate about that as other positions. I typically go to a buddy of mine who's played net on my teams for many moons. I haven't talked to him about Bobrovsky yet so who knows. Looked to me to be very active and agile in the crease cutting off angles and challenging shooters. Like you said tho it's a long season and you can't tell from 1 game. And I'm not claiming that either. I'm just saying that if this guy can play like this all yr it's really gonna change the Atlantic division. The #1 hole Philly has had for a while is in net and it looks like they MAY have an answer from within the organization. Hmmmm..... have I heard that somewhere before?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 7, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, to me, it seemed like he had a number of signs which indicated that he wasn't ready. He's very, very quick....he reminds me a lot of Varlamov, which makes sense. But he fumbled on his lateral movements, and it cost him the second goal. The Pens seemed to be hitting a lot of crossbars too. He did seem to be pretty calm and collected, given all the circumstances, but he just made some awkward movements and was way out of position on some shots. I think that if he was played in a few more games, he'll be exposed. His stats in the RSL/KHL are pretty good, despite playing on a bad team. Maybe it could just be chocked up to nerves and such.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 7, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, to me, it seemed like he had a number of signs which indicated that he wasn't ready. He's very, very quick....he reminds me a lot of Varlamov, which makes sense. But he fumbled on his lateral movements, and it cost him the second goal. The Pens seemed to be hitting a lot of crossbars too. He did seem to be pretty calm and collected, given all the circumstances, but he just made some awkward movements and was way out of position on some shots. I think that if he was played in a few more games, he'll be exposed. His stats in the RSL/KHL are pretty good, despite playing on a bad team. Maybe it could just be chocked up to nerves and such.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 7, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you Pokerface. Gonchar will be missed on the PP - I don't care what Engblom says.

Posted by: zmega | October 7, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

McPhee probably has wet dreams about Duncan Keith. His perfect defenseman.

Turco looks good so far.

Posted by: alanb1 | October 7, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

I think Gonchar will be missed greatly. I always found it funny when people would say that Pittsburgh would be much improved because they brought in 2 good defensemen. But what they always forgot to mention was that they lost their best defenseman. Someone who has always been rated much higher than either of the two guys they acquired.

On the Philly goalie. Too early to tell. It's just one game. No real judgments to be made until he at least hits 10 games.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 7, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

We eventually need a Phil Jackson behind the bench to win some Cups. Boudreau to AO is like Doug Collins was to Jordan -- but need a VETERAN coach to take us to the next level. Mike Keenan?? I along with 23 Caps just got a chill down our spines.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | October 8, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

SEEMS TO ME Teddy L > THAN ALL OF US ON THIS BOARD.

Posted by: Rocc00 | October 8, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

ThePat-Sorry I didn't answer sooner, but I was away from a computer.

As I said before, I'm not on "Team Varly" or "Team Neuvy". I'm on Team whoever can win the Cup. I just find it annoying that the same posters that labeled cstanton1 as a Caps hater for his endless GMGM bashing are the same ones hoping that Varly fails so their favorite wins the job and won't be traded. I'm am one of the biggest BB bashers, but I hope he figures it out so this team can win a Cup.

In a perfect world, I wish Varly and Neuvy had more time to develop in the minors. IMO, I think both are being set up to fail with the expectations of the club and the deficiencies on defense. Had BJ not been injured, neither would have come up until last season at the earliest. But with Varly's playoff performance, the time line was sped up and here we are.

The annoying thing about "Team Neuvy" is that they look to diminish Varly so that Neuvy can shine. For example, no goal is ever Neuvy's fault but if Varly gives up any goal it's because he's not mentally tough or not in position. What? Varly was one of the main reasons this team won the series against the Rags and took the Pens and Habs to 7. Sure, it's not a Calder Cup, but NHL >> AHL and Varly's performance was admirable.

The facts are both of these guys are bright young goalies who are still learning their positions. And BOTH have durability issues.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 8, 2010 1:46 AM | Report abuse

The Caps are now intending to split Neuvy with Varly(so about 41 starts barring serious injury). There is no inention to make him a Ryan Miller like starter who plays almost 70 games.

Isn't that basically the definition of letting a guy grow into the position and not forcing him?

If this were the Oilers I'd say yes, but the Caps are looking to win the Cup this year. With the Caps defense and playing style, that is a lot of pressure to put on the young goalies. If they didn't plan to upgrade the defense, they should have brought in a vet to take the heat.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 8, 2010 1:58 AM | Report abuse

I'm reading a number of posts here that are nothing but a boat load of crap. It doesn't matter one bit how GMGM assembled this group. It only matters that he has and they are arguably the most talented young team in hockey. It was his job to bring the talent in by any means possible and he accomplished that. He should be applauded for his efforts. If any GM could have done the same thing they would have but they haven't. Just ask any Islander fan.

Posted by: croftonpost | October 8, 2010 4:17 AM | Report abuse

Totally agree about Gonchar, he's gonna be missed, big-time - and not just on the PP. Hockey's a tough enough game as it is, never mind if you can't break the puck out of your zone.

Posted by: govtimbo | October 8, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

One more thing about Gonchar - that Russian coach in the Olympics [Bykov? not sure] should have been fired immediately when he tried to put that KHL dude ahead of Gonchar to run the power play, no wonder they wouldn't let any of their players talk to the media there would have been a full-scale mutiny.

Posted by: govtimbo | October 8, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

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